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Putin, Medvedev Featured in Russian Cartoon Show

14. January 2010 by Daniel 0 Comments

For years the Russian media have shied away from making fun of the country’s leaders out of fear that the government would crack down on such criticism. But as the new year began, a Russian cartoon show left some wondering if times had changed.

 

President Dmitry Medvedev and Prime Minister Vladimir Putin appeared on New Year’s Eve as cartoon figures on “Mult Lichnosti,” or “Animated Personality,” a humor show on Russia’s Channel One, which frequently pokes fun at top officials.

 

In a 2 and 1/2-minute clip, Medvedev and Putin dance around Moscow’s Red Square while singing a satirical number about Russian foreign relations and other political issues. Medvedev is seen playing an accordion while Putin shakes a tambourine and periodically slaps it against his backside.

 

Watch the video of their performance:

The production is a highly unusual one for Russian media to broadcast, being that Putin himself cracked down on programs that were critical of the government in the early years of his presidency.

 

In the early 2000’s, a program known as “Kukly,” which portrayed political leaders in the form of puppets, was shut down after repeatedly drawing the ire of various leaders. Since then, Russian media have stuck to a strictly positive portrayal of Putin and others in government.

 

There has been speculation that the new cartoon could be a sign that the government is loosening its grip on the media. Putin and Medvedev are said to have been added to the regular cast of the show, which in the past has also made fun of Georgian leader Mikheil Saakashvili, Ukrainian President Viktor Yushchenko, and U.S. President Barack Obama.